John Lee Pratt Animal Nutrition Program proposals funded in 2012

The John Lee Pratt Endowment has been instrumental in enhancing the quality of the university’s animal nutrition programs at Virginia Tech. The Pratt Endowment objective as specified in John Lee Pratt’s bequest is, “to promote the study of animal nutrition, provide equipment and materials for feeding experiments and the preparation of livestock and poultry feeds, and to publish and disseminate the practical results from this research.” A total of 11 proposals, totaling approximately $1 million, were selected for funding by an external group of peer reviewers. The programs of 22 faculty members located in six different departments, three colleges, and two collaborations outside of VT with Ohio State University and USDA/ARS are supported through these 11 projects. A total of 12 graduate students will also be supported by these projects. The following is a summary of the 2012 projects funded through the Pratt Animal Nutrition Program:

  1. Improved predictions of ruminal volatile fatty acid production leading to a better understanding of methane production. Investigators:  Mark Hanigan, Dairy Science; Jeff Firkins, Animal Science (Ohio State University); Samer El-Kadi, Animal and Poultry Sciences; Hollie Schramm, Large Animal Clinical Sciences (Veterinary Medicine) and Honglin Jiang, Animal and Poultry Sciences
  2. Mob grazing effects on animal nutrition. Investigators: Ben Tracy, Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences and Mark McCann, Animal and Poultry Sciences
  3. Fetal amino acid supplies and postnatal protein retention: understanding amino acid retention in growing animals. Investigators: Samer El-Kadi, animal and Poultry Sciences; David Gerrard, Animal and Poultry Sciences; and Rami Dalloul, Animal and Poultry Sciences
  4. Effect of Eimeria infection on expression of nutrient transporters in the intestine of chickens. Investigators: Eric Wong, Animal and Poultry Sciences and Katarzyna Miska, USDA/ARS
  5. Grape seed extract as a natural antimicrobial and antidiarrheal agent to replace antibiotics and zinc oxide in commercial pig feed. Investigators: Andrew Nielson, Food Science and Techology; Monica Ponder, Food Science and Technology; Michelle Rhoads, Animal and Poultry Sciences; and Robert Rhoads, Animal and Poultry Sciences
  6. Forage and animal nutrition research to improve silvopasture production systems. Investigators: John Fike, Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences; Scott Greiner, Animal and Poultry Sciences; and John Munsell, Forest Resource and Environmental Conservation. (Natural Resources and Environment)
  7. Mechanism by which volatile fatty acids (VFA) regulate feed intake in ruminants. Investigators: Honglin Jiang, Animal and Poultry Sciences; Mark Hanigan, Dairy Science; Dongmin Liu, Human Nutrition Foods and Exercise; and William Swecker, Large Animal and Clinical Sciences (Veterinary Medicine)
  8. Developing new techniques to identify nutritionally mediated transcriptional regulation of lipid synthesis in beef and dairy cattle. Investigators: Benjamin Corl, Dairy Science and Honglin Jiang, Animal and Poultry Sciences
  9. Effects of high-energy diets on metabolic and reproductive parameters of growing female pigs. Investigator: Michelle Rhoads, Animal and Poultry Science
  10. Phosphorus utilization and recycling in grazing ruminants. Investigators: Mark McCann, Animal and Poultry Sciences; Mark Hanigan, Dairy Science; and Katharine Knowlton, Dairy Science
  11. Consequences of intrauterine growth restriction on skeletal muscle development and metabolism. Investigator: Robert Rhoads, Animal and Poultry Sciences
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